March 9, 2011
By Mike Collins
Justin B. “Jack” Cox, known by many as editor in chief of the Experimental Aircraft Association’s (EAA’s) flagship magazine, Sport Aviation—a position he held from 1972 until 1999—died March 6 in Asheboro, N.C.
Cox was born in Seagrove, N.C., in January 1934 and was fascinated by aviation from an early age. After graduating from college, he began a teaching career and flight training, soloing a Piper J-3 Cub in April 1956. He married his wife, Golda, in December 1958 and they bought their first airplane, a J-3 Cub, a few years later. They owned more than a half-dozen airplanes over the years, including a Piper Comanche they flew for more than three decades.
Cox had a longtime fascination with and appreciation for vintage aircraft. In the late 1960s he led the first effort to formalize judging standards and set up permanent vintage aircraft judging categories for EAA. At the invitation of EAA’s founder, Paul Poberezny, the Coxes joined the EAA staff in Hales Corner, Wis., in January 1970. Among other duties, he was instrumental in the formation of EAA’s Antique/Classic Division, now the EAA Vintage Airplane Association. During his years at the helm of Sport Aviation, Golda was his partner on the magazine, serving in the role of managing editor.
He was a lifetime member of EAA, member of AOPA, director of the EAA/VAA Chapter 3, and served on the Asheboro Airport Authority. He was inducted into the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association Hall of Fame and the EAA Homebuilder’s Hall of Fame, among many other awards during his career.
Cox is survived by his wife, Golda; a brother; and several nieces and nephews. At his request there will be no funeral or memorial services. Memorial contributions may be made to the Randolph Cancer Center (P.O. Box 1048, Asheboro, N.C. 27204) or the Randolph Public Library (Attention: Mae Auman, 201 Worth Street, Asheboro, N.C. 27203). A more detailed compilation of Cox’s accomplishments is available on the EAA website .
Mike Collins has worked for AOPA’s media network since 1994. He holds a private pilot certificate with an instrument rating.
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